On Saturday we'll get the chance to see the highly anticipated match up between unified Super Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Муроджон Ахмадалиев] and IBF mandatory challenger Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑], in what is expected to be a brilliant match up.
Today the two men took part in a press conference, speaking about the contest.
Akhmadaliev had sounded confident at the event and was quoted at stating "I'm happy to be in Uzbekistan. I'll do my best."
After the press conference he answered some questions afterwards, where he told reporters "Whether you're tall or short, you have to respect the opponent. It's not the first time I've fought with a tall boxer. Everything is decided in the ring. A lot can be said, but after entering the ring, you have to answer what you said. We sparred with boxers. I am ready for the fight. In Shaa Allah, I will take advantage of the opportunity and raise our flag in our country,
Iwasa, who traveveled through Turkey to get to Uzbekistan from Japan, stated "I am grateful to Uzbekistan, Matchroom, Teiken Jim Honda, DAZN, and everyone who held the match in the situation of Corona. It will definitely be a good match"
His promoter, Celes Kobayshi, revealed that Iwasa was having no problems at all with his weight and that that his man has been staying sharp whilst staying at their hotel in Tashkent.
The two men also went face to face today and the height difference, something Akhmadaliev spoke about, was pretty clear, as can be seen in the video below thanks to Olamsport.
Related- Akhmadaliev and Iwasa clash at last!
(Image credit - Celes Gym)
Yesterday we, finally, saw the official announcement that unified Super Bantamweight champion Murodjon Akhmadaliev (8-0, 6) [Муроджон Ахмадалиев] would be facing off with mandatory challenger Ryosuke Iwasa (27-3, 17) [岩佐 亮佑] on April 3rd at the Humo Arena in Tashkent.
Today, following that announcement, Iwasa and promoter Celes Kobayashi held an online press conference to talk about the contest and their plans.
Iwasa explained that he managed to endure the wait, and made it clear that waiting well over a year to fight was frustrating and that he had lost motivation during some of the wait. That was notable when a scheduled date in November vanished. Since February however he has found his hunger and been sparring at the Teiken Gym against the likes of Yamato Hata (11-1, 10) [波田 大和], Mikito Nakano (5-0, 4) [中野幹士], Kenji Fujita [藤田健児] and Subaru Murata [村田昴]. He explained the reason for sparring those 3 in particular was their speed and their styles. When sparring stops he will be training alongside Celes gym stablemate Jin Minamide (4-1, 3) [南出仁], with the two focusing on weight loss and staying sharp.
Talking about the contest Iwasa openly stated "I have a special feeling. It will be the biggest match in my boxing life so far." He also explained that he has no anxiety about fighting away from home, something he's done several times now, with bouts in the UK and the US.
In regards to his approach to the bout, Iwasa stated "I won't let my opponent get into the rhythm." Kobayashi added that the key was to start fast and not lose the early rounds against Akhmadaliev, who they seem to see as a momentum fighter, and they need to stop the momentum from forming early on in the bout.
If he wins Iwasa has his "Eagle Eye" on one man, and that's a bout with WBC Super Bantamweight champion Luis Nery, who he wants to face due to Nery's two wins over Shinsuke Yamanaka. He added that Nery had to be "blown away".
Interesting more TV details regarding the fight became available. It was known that DAZN would be airing the bout, and will be in Japan as well, but for those in Japan without DAZN the bout will be shown on Tape Delay on BS NTV, though the date of that replaying airing wasn't announced.
A week ago Matchroom Sports announced that WBA "Super" and Ring Magazine Light Flyweight champion Hiroto Kyoguchi (14-0, 9) [京口 紘人] would be returning to the ring on March 13th to defend his titles against Mexican challenger Axel Aragon Vega (14-3-1, 8).
Today Kyoguchi, along with Japanese promoter Hitoshi Watanabe, held a press conference to speak about the contest.
At the press conference the champion stated "I have had a desire to play a world title match in the United States since I became a world champion. I think it is difficult to do so, so I want to emphasize that Japanese boxers are strong."
Strangely Mr Watanabe revealed that there isn't yet a formal contract agreed to secure Vega as the opponent, though did add that Vega was "almost certainly" the opponent for the bout. Despite unclear situation on the opponent Kyoguchi revealed he wasn't concerned and explained "I'm working on training to raise myself because I think I can win if I can do my own boxing with any opponent."
Last November Kyoguchi was supposed to defend his title against Thai youngster Thanongsak Simsri (14-0, 12), in a bout that was cancelled due to Kyoguchi testing positive for Covid19. The plan for this bout it to take things incredibly serious in an attempt to prevent Kyoguchi or his team from testing positive again for the March bout. To do this they will set aside space for Kyoguchi and make sure that his contact with people is limited.
It's worth noting that Watanabe gym had a contract that they would promote Kyoguchi Vs Simsri "next", but as this is a Matchroom promoted event the contract essentially doesn't extend to this bout. Effectively delaying Simsri's shot, but still leaving him as the next man to challenge Kyoguchi on a Watanabe event.
Interestingly it was also revealed that Kyoguchi is currently suffering from insomnia. Despite that he revealed that he wants to impress with his style and win the hearts of fight fans in the US.
(Image - boxingnews.jp)
Yesterday we saw WBO Super Flyweight champion Kazuto Ioka (26-2, 15) [井岡一翔] put on one of his best career performances and retained his title with an 8th round TKO win over the previously unbeaten Kosei Tanaka (15-1, 9) [田中恒成]. The performance was a masterclass of counter punching, distance control, and of a fighter using experience to neutralise a quicker, younger opponent.
Today, following that win, Ioka attended an online press conference where he spoke about the bout and his in ring future.
Regarding the bout he spoke highly of Tanaka "He was strong. He was a good player. He had speed and punching power as he was reputed"
"I felt growth because I was able to show what I was doing in the game rather than winning Tanaka-kun,"
Despite only fighting once in 2020, due to Covid19, Ioka did sat it wasn't a wasted year, though his plans for 2021 seem much bigger. "This year's goal is a unified match with champions from other organizations," "I hope to face the winner of Juan Francisco Estrada and Roman Gonzalez..." and even went as far as to suggest that only he can beat them both"I can win. I'm the only one, "
Interestingly he's predicted a Gonzalez win for the bout against Estrada, suggesting that Estrada is getting hit more in recent bouts than he used to.
Although there are big plans for later in the year the shorter term plan is to have a holiday with his family, and have a short break to begin the year.
(Image courtesy of Ambition Gym)
Earlier this month we reported that WBA Minimumweight champion Knockout CP Freshmart (20-0, 7) [น็อคเอาท์ ซีพีเฟรชมาร์ท] would be defending his belt in March against Japanese fighter Norihito Tanaka (19-7, 10) [田中教仁].
That bout was officially announced in Thailand earlier this week, in a press conference held by Knockout's tea.
Today Tanaka and his team held a press conference of their own, speaking about the contest and their preparation plans.
At today's press conference it was revealed that talks for this bout had been underway since December, but had been very protracted and were only completed earlier this month. Despite that Tanaka seemed confident, and spoke about becoming the first Japanese man to travel to Thailand and bring back a world title. So far Japanese fighters have gone 0-24-1 in world title bouts in the country, and Tanaka was quite brash in saying "I will change history by winning" [Translated].
In regards to the champion, Tanaka "I know that he has won in all 20 races so far, but it is not like a monster. I think that I will engage with myself." [Translated] and as for the type of fight he's expecting, it's going to be rough "I think we'll be butting, elbowing, and low blows. It's fine." [Translated]
The plan is to get over to Thailand early, arriving on February 26th, and finishing preparations for the fight in Bangkok, before heading to Nakhon Sawan for the fight. Tanaka appears to be fully aware of the conditions of bouts in Thailand, the drawn out introduction ceremony and the harsh fighting conditions of being out in the sweltering heat. Being aware of them and coping with them are two very different things, but things that Tanaka will be hoping his extra days in Thailand will help with.
(Image courtesy of boxmob.jp)
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